The upstart Resurrection Fight Alliance promotion hosted its third event on Saturday, June 30 from the Viaero Center in Kearney, Neb. The young promotion is focusing on both up-and-coming talent and helping fighters earn their way back to the big show.

In the night’s main event, former Ultimate Fighter winner and UFC title challenger Joe “Daddy” Stevenson took on recent TUF Live combatant Dakota Cochrane. The card also featured past TUF fighters Amir Khillah, James Krause and Jordan Rinaldi.

Cochrane submits Stevenson

Youth trumped experience as Nebraska’s own Dakota Cochrane handed longtime UFC veteran Joe Stevenson his fifth straight loss in the night’s main event.

Cochrane opened the fight with a front kick and flying knee, but Stevenson scored with a double-leg takedown and put Cochrane against the fence. After Cochrane got back to his feet, Stevenson pulled half guard and looked to sweep. Cochrane overcame the positional battle and ended the round in the top position.

In the second stanza, Cochrane landed a big flying knee that hurt Stevenson. He quickly took Stevenson’s back, trapped an arm, and forced the UFC veteran to tap to a rear-naked choke.

“It was an honor to fight Joe, but don’t take me lightly,” Cochrane declared after Stevenson missed weight by four pounds. “We’re professional fighters, but we have to make weight.”

Njokuani outclasses Cooper

Welterweight Chidi Njokuani showed an improved ground game to complement his dangerous striking attack as he battered Bobby Cooper in the co-main event.

After Njokuani connected with a question mark kick, Cooper closed the distance to avoid Njokuani’s Muay Thai. Surprisingly, it was Njokuani that scored with the takedown from along the fence. He delivered punches and elbows from the top to claim the opening round.

In the final two frames, Njokuani again brought the fight to the mat and delivered a barrage of knees to Cooper’s body. Cooper somehow survived the onslaught, but all three judges gave Njokuani the decision win.

Jenkins destroys Adame

Lightweight Bubba Jenkins needed just over a minute to dispose of Jesus Adame and move to 3-0.

The American Top Team product and former national champion wrestler slammed Adame to the mat in the first 10 seconds of the fight, quickly took his back and then finished the fight by rear-naked choke.

Krause slides past Khillah

WEC, Bellator and Ultimate Fighter veteran James Krause used his wrestling and ground attack to get the better of fellow TUF alum Amir Khillah.

Khillah, a Taekwondo stylist, opened the fight aggressively with a variety of flashy kicks, but Krause was unfazed. Krause scored his first of many takedowns in the first minute and proved to be the better ground fighter. Krause threatened to end the fight with multiple choke attempts, but Khillah was able to escape each time.

The Egyptian seemed to be more concerned with entertaining than fighting as he frequently waved at the camera, patted Krause’s head and it ultimately cost Khillah on the scorecards.

Rinaldi edges Dickman in closely-contested bout

In his first bout since falling short on The Ultimate Fighter: Live, lightweight Jordan Rinaldi handed Mark Dickman his first career loss in a back-and-forth affair.

Dickman dropped Rinaldi in the opening frame with a jab, but Rinaldi recovered quickly. Rinaldi had a big second frame, battering Dickman and nearly finishing the fight with his strikes and a late submission attempt. Dickman survived and fought through a badly bloodied nose in the final frame, but fell short on the scorecards as Rinaldi claimed the unanimous decision.

Macias dominates Wilson

Colorado’s Nick Macias may have been at an experience disadvantage against the well-traveled Sean Wilson, but that didn’t stop Macias from dominating their featherweight affair. Macias put Wilson on his back in the first round and pounded away the veteran. In the second round, Macias connected a head kick before mounting and eventually submitting Wilson with a rear-naked choke to pick up his sixth career win.

Ely taps Manzanares in exciting battle

In his flyweight debut, RFA veteran Aaron Ely showed off his grappling repertoire in handing Matt Manzanares his first loss. Ely took the fight to the mat in the first frame and looked for D’arce choke, but Manzanares escaped and took Ely’s back. Ely bounced back in the second and forced Manzanares to tap to a deep guillotine choke.

Hepburn too much for Mier in debut

Former NCAA Division II national champion TJ Hepburn overwhelmed Jeremy Mier in both fighters’ professional debuts. Hepburn put Mier on this back and then pounded a way from side control, forcing Mier to tap to strikes.

Postma knocks out Alirez

Heavyweight Carl Postma weathered an early combination and then delivered a vicious left hook that knocked out Anthony Alirez just 19 seconds into their bout.


Dakota Cochrane def. Joe Stevenson by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 1:04
Chidi Njokuani def. Bobby Cooper by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Bubba Jenkins def. Jesus Adame by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 1:08
James Krause def. Amir Khillah by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Jordan Rinaldi def. Mark Dickman by unanimous decision.
Nick Macias def. Sean Wilson by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 1:03
Aaron Ely def. Matt Manzanares by submission (guillotine choke). Round 2, 3:21
TJ Hepburn def. Jeremy Mier by submission(strikes). Round 1, 4:59
Carl Postma def. Anthony Alirez by KO (punch). Round 1, 0:19
Julian Marquez def. Tony Rodriguez by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1 (a)
Jesus Sandoval def. Duane Johnson by unanimous decision. (a)
Erin Smith def. LaNita Jackson by TKO (retirement). Round 1, 3:00 (a)
Brandon Neujahr-Gomez def. James Donahue by TKO (strikes). (a)

(a) denotes an amateur contest

*A light heavyweight bout between Ryan Lopez and Maurice Smith was scratched from the card as Lopez fell ill.

Photo: Dakota Cochrane (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

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